Ethiopian Community Center of Sacramento (ECCS) By Laws
Section-1 Name and Location,
The name of the organization is Ethiopian Community Center in Sacramento, herein after referred to as ECCS. ECCS in these bylaws shall mean individuals of Ethiopian/Ethiopian American Cultural origin. The principal office of the organization shall be located in County of Sacramento, but meetings of the members and directors may be held at such places within the State of California as may be designated by the Board of Directors.
Ethiopian Community Center of Sacramento (ECCS), is a not for profit organization formed in 1992 by Ethiopians and Ethiopian Americans to promote their diverse ethnic culture, heritage and traditions within the Ethiopian community and throughout the greater Sacramento metropolitan area. ECCS is formed on the principle to promote inclusive activities that builds common interests while maintaining respect for differences. It is the intention of the ECCS to help foster unity among individuals and groups interested in developing, implementing and coordinating programs and activities to recognize and support an appreciation of the various Ethiopian cultures, customs and institutions. ECCS staff shall have broad backgrounds in community involvement necessary for the organization to carry out its goals and objectives with enthusiasm and dedication to address the present and future needs of our growing community.
The ECCS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) multi-social service community. While Ethiopians and Ethiopian Americans in Sacramento have generally tended to settle in the greater Sacramento area, they have over the years settled into small groups around Sacramento Metropolitan Areas. The mission of ECCS is to unite these small groups into one large community, and create the necessary networking among Ethiopians to improve our wellbeing through promotion of Ethiopian history and culture. ECCS’s goal is to play a “bridging” role to identify and facilitate the available public and private community services to benefit our community. As stated in ECCS by-laws, ECCS will carry out the following objectives:
Building Community Network: ECCS will bring together the Ethiopian community in the Sacramento metropolitan area to improve opportunities for social interaction according to Ethiopian cultural and traditions. ECCS will employ all resources at its disposal to promote social interaction and community building amongst Ethiopians and other immigrant groups, and with the mainstream American society. ECCS is an organization where people who live in proximity to each other come together to create a sustainable community information network a 2
task that will require commitment and participation from all segments of the Ethiopian community.
Programs and Projects
2.1 History/culture Program: This particular project will support ECCS efforts to invite authors on Ethiopian history and culture for presentations to Ethiopian American residents in the Sacramento metropolitan area. In addition to promoting the community’s awareness of Ethiopian culture and history, the aim of the ECCS is to recognize the contributions of all the Sacramento non-profit organizations that have been integral to the growth of the Ethiopian community. The ECCS is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating information pertaining to Ethiopian traditions, history, culture, and heritage to younger generations of Ethiopians in Sacramento.
2.2 School Partnership Project: ECCS seeks to collaborate with the Sacramento metropolitan area public school districts to implement a School Partnership Project to assist teachers and school staff to develop programs to address the educational needs of an increasing immigrant population at public elementary, middle and high school levels. EECS believes the programs are important to building a bridge between parents and public school administrators, and would help to improve the quality of life for immigrant families who are unfamiliar with and/or intimidated by the standard American educational system. These programs will help immigrant and refugee parents to become more involved in their child's education and at the same time acquire the confidence to be more well-informed advocates for their children. ECCS shall offer after-school activities consistent with Ethiopian and American culture for youths and their parents. One of the goals of these after-school activities is to develop activities that serve as resources for Sacramento area adoptive parents of children from Ethiopian, and to help adopted children maintain a connection with their countries.
2.3 Financial Literacy Program: Financial Literacy Program is based upon the observed financial challenges that many newcomers from Ethiopia encounter. To date, most financial literacy programs have been operated by private and government agencies for the Asian, Middle Eastern, Russians, other African countries and Latino immigrant communities. ECCS believes that many of our community members have limited knowledge of the workings of the American economic system, and would benefit from a financial literacy program to “bridge” this gap to reach financial independence. The goal of this program is to invite representatives of government and institutional banks to explain the benefits of life insurance, wills or living wills, trusts, various mortgage instruments and retirement investments.
2.4 Family Services Program: ECCS provides advocacy and community development resources including interpreter and court translation services. ECCS was founded on the belief that “people need people.” ECCS is the first and oldest organization in Sacramento to focus on issues and concerns of Ethiopian and Ethiopian Americans; especially, as they relate to children and families. As descendants of Ethiopian immigrants, Ethiopian Americans should know the stories of difficulties faced by first-generation Ethiopians. ECCS provides information to assist Ethiopians to qualify for and receive family support benefits (in education, health, and other) that 3
America offers. ECCS’s mission is to advocate for increased resources for the underserved, particularly those families in crisis and most in need as we work towards a community of people who are healthy in body and mind. By providing a variety of services for numerous facets of life, ECCS programs help many on their personal journeys, and bring people together to create stronger family and communities.
2.5 Advocacy Program: Throughout U.S history a united immigrant community played a key role in advocating for education, employment training and also to get a fair share of federal, state and local government funding. ECCS will host a community conversation with individuals and community members to learn about peoples aspirations for our community and talk about how we can work together to address the challenge.
One of ECCS’s goals is to preserve the unique elements of our diverse cultures and individual identity, and explore ways to transfer these elements to future generations of Ethiopian Americans. As our community around us continues to evolve, ECCS will advocate for services people need in order to adjust to social changes affecting the future of our community and quality of life for future generations.
2.6 Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program: It is often said, “Experience is the best teacher.” What better way for children and youth to learn about their history, culture, traditions, and society, than to travel to Ethiopia as an international citizen ambassador for a first-hand introduction to their ethnic origin? ECCS shall create the Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program for youths and college-age students to develop leadership and civic skills to assist them in their educational and career endeavors. Furthermore, travel experiences offer more meaningful perspectives on lifestyles and attitudes that differ from those one is accustomed to. The significance of a first-hand cultural experience is invaluable in helping a young person in the Ethiopia American community to define his or her own identity and establish a greater connection to their sometimes seemingly distant heritage; as well as, encourage continued interest in its people, culture and history.
DONATION/ FUND RASING
ECCS accepts any donations or support that makes it possible for the organization to implement our programs, or pursue new ideas. We are always thankful to those whose generosity would make a difference in our community and in another person's life. The ECCS gratefully acknowledges the donations of individuals, families and corporations alike. The ECCS accepts many different types of donations:
Gifts in Honor
Gifts in Memory
General Donations: ECCS participates in Sacramento fundraising programs whereby local groups and businesses partner with qualified nonprofit organizations. This partnership includes participation in a variety of events and services such as; ticket sales, discount coupons and more. ECCS will participate in the Sacramento Region Funders program, which is a joint project of the Sacramento Funders Roundtable and the Nonprofit Resource program with support from Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) etc.
Gifts in Honor/Memory: A gift to the Ethiopian Community Center of Sacramento is a great way to celebrate a special occasion or to memorialize the life of someone close. Giving on behalf of another is an excellent way to show your consideration for friends and family. When ECCS receives a gift to honor, or in memory of a loved one, we will be glad to send an acknowledgement to the appropriate party, and include the gift information in the ECCS newsletter. To assist us in preparing the acknowledgement, please print the name and address of the person along with your gift.
Automobile Donations: ECCS accepts donations of automobiles, SUVs and light trucks. If you are interested in donating a vehicle, you can contact us directly
Gifts in Kind: Please donate items which you would otherwise give or throw away. The ECCS will either use or sell the donated items. All donations are tax deductible.
Cultural Nights Gifts (Ingera, Dabo, Wote, Rice, Salad refreshments and other materials): The ECCS conducts annual fund drives to help support day-to-day operations and ongoing programs. Donations are gladly accepted at any time of year. ECCS’s annual fund raising efforts allow us to continue to provide social, educational and cultural programs at minimum costs to the members of the community. Please support our ECCS cultural celebration night charitable banquette with your contributions and attendance. These gifts are tax exempt under the law 5
Corporate Fund Matching: Most corporations offer to match their employees’ charitable donations to non-profit organizations. Some companies may match donations directly, while others organize donation programs via a parent company such as United Way. Consult your Human Resources Department where you work to find out how to make your individual donation (often 100% match) through your employer. Do you participate in a United Way Campaign or other charitable giving program where you work? If so, please consider designating your contribution to the Ethiopian Community Center of Sacramento (ECCS). Your gift can go a long way toward helping ECCS achieve our mission.
For All donations, please contact: NAME: Ethiopian Community Center At (916) 420-4437
or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations may be mailed to: ECCS
4625 44th Street, Suite 30 Sacramento, CA 95820
If you have any questions, please contact:
NAME Ethiopian Community Center in Sacramento Fund Raising Officer
At (916) 420-4437
or by e-mail at email@example.com
Your gifts are tax deductible per the rules of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and California Franchise Tax Board.
4.1 Membership/ Members
Membership to ECCS is open to persons of Ethiopian origin and friends of Ethiopia who uphold the objectives of the organization. 6
4.1.2 Members in Good Standing:
Members in good standing are those who continue to support the mission of ECCS and fulfill their membership obligations.
o A voting member is in good standing as long as he/she has paid his/her monthly/yearly dues and any other fees associated with membership.
o A voting member would have to have the best interest of the Ethiopian Community at heart.
o A voting member shall be willing to serve in any capacity if and when asked by the president or the executive officers and individual members acting in the capacity of committee chair.
o A voting member shall serve the community in a good faith effort as a volunteer and with no due considerations.
4.1.3 Associate Members:
Associate Membership is open to any individual that considers themselves as a friend of Ethiopia and care about the Ethiopian people and culture. Associate Members would be welcomed as non-voting members and can make either financial or material contributions and/or contribute in time or service. An Associate Member can participate in all activities and functions of the community in any capacity that has been assigned to him/her by the president or the executive officers and individual members acting in the capacity of committee chair.
4.1.4 Membership Dues:
The executive board decides on the due amount based on the majority vote.
a) Family Membership:
b) Individual Membership:
c) Student Membership: